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iFi iDAC Has anyone purchased one?? Looking for under $300 DAC - Page 3

post #31 of 63

And then there's this rather illuminating chiding at Six Moons. So the 3D bit is a crossfeed. 

post #32 of 63

Hi,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerocraft67 View Post

And then there's this rather illuminating chiding at Six Moons. So the 3D bit is a crossfeed. 


I had a word with Vincent from iFi about this at the show, because this 3D thing interested me a lot.

This 3D sound switch has two positions and off. Vincent said that one position was "the normal way" and had been done before. The other one was their own variation of fixing headphones problems which did things different.

I never use the "normal" setting. It helps but it does not seem right. This may be what you and that guy at 6moons calls crossfeed.

I tried a crossfeed plugin for the music player on my various windows phones. It sounded not even like "the normal way" on the iCan. It also sounded nothing like the Phonitor or the Parrot Zik on a quick listen. All of them seem to do something more.

I have no idea how it is done. I can only tell you want it does.

If I switch 3D sound to "single dot" it moves the music forward, so it is no longer in my head, but it is like a very narrow speaker placement, definitely more narrow than the my ears. Not mono exactly, but more like one of the old small tellys with a nearly square screen from far away or maybe listening to the band at one end of a long corridor,with you at the other end.


If I switch to "tripple dot" it moves the music forward as much, but it also gives it a very wide soundstage, way wider than my ears, much more like listening to speakers. Actually, we had this discussion in another thread, where I heard a new word, "binaural", so on "tripple dot" things sound much like a binaural recording. 
 

Cheerio Rich


Edited by bedlam inside - 1/22/13 at 11:18pm
post #33 of 63
I think it might be possible to use this dac as a mobile solution with ipad. Will post updates after I get all the gizmos, but the chain is
ipad > cck > special cable hub > iDac > Ultrasone HiFi 2400
I was inspired to try this from Whodiini's Dragonfly solution.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/507559/list-of-dacs-that-work-with-ipad/600#post_8920220
Whether or not the 3D sound combined with the headphones S-Logic will conflict is another question.
Edited by Sopranino - 1/24/13 at 12:08pm
post #34 of 63

Has anyone tried the iFi iCan with IEMs? I have a pair of Westone um3x, W4, and Heir Audio 8.A (on order). I currently have the PanAm connected to an audioquest Dragonfly; however, the PanAm is too loud and lacks bass extension and impact with all of my IEMs. I'm wondering if the iCan will be likewise over-powered for IEMs...

post #35 of 63
Hi Gary, I see you posted on another thread with no luck. Check out this article. http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/comparison-beyerdynamic-dt-880-32-ohm-dt-880-250-ohm-and-dt-880-600-ohm-headphones
I'm curious to know if low damping factor would cause your volume to be too high. Then again, I don't know much about IEMs. ALOdoesn't list the PanAm's output impedance so you'll need to find that out. The output impedance for the idac is <1 ohm and for the ican it is <0.5 ohm. If it turns out I'm right, maybe you can buy some sort of impedance matching device.
Edited by Sopranino - 1/29/13 at 11:02am
post #36 of 63

Hi,

I do not have IEM's (don't like earplugs). But maybe I can help as I have both iDac and iCan and have tried some different headphones with them (mainly iCan).

My JVC HP-AL1000 are not in ear, but they are rated as 102dB/mW and they are 32 Ohm. If I understand these things right this is not as loud as some IEM's, but quite loud. My Audio Technica's are also quite loud (109dB/mW but rated as 300 Ohm, not sure how that works?). The Audio Technica's are louder on the same setting as the JVC, but not a lot.

With the iCan I find that with both my headphones, I keep the volume below or around 12 o'clock for LOUD listening. Also, I set volume on both iDac and iCan about the same for the same sound level. I do not listen very quiet on headphones.

 

On the other hand with a borrowed Sennheiser HD-600 I found I need to turn the volume up past 3'oclock to get good listening levels and I might have used a touch more.

For bass, the iCan has a switch for X-Bass (whatever that is). With the JVC headphones X-Bass helps them not sound weedy, no need with the Audio Technica's and their killer bass. With the Sennheisers I tried (HD600 & HD-800) I felt the need for X-Bass, while the Hifiman HE-500 had great bass without. So I think you will not have a problem with the bass with the iCan and most headphones.

 

The iDac does not have X-Bass (or 3D-Sound at that), I can see how some headphones with poor bass may not do great on it.

I read the bit about headphone impedance Sopranino linked. Now I understand these specifications better (do I?). Thank you. The iFi gear seems to be okay for both iCan and iDac, but it seems the iCan has better numbers.

I checked their website:

http://ifi-audio.com/en/iDAC.html
 

Headphone section:
Output Power:                  >150mW (15Ω)
Output Voltage:                >3.3V (>100Ω)
Signal to Noise Ratio:       >97dB(A) (400mV/300R)
Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.003% (400mV/300R)
Output Impedance:(Zout):  <1Ω

http://ifi-audio.com/en/iCAN.html
 
Specifications:
Signal to Noise Ratio:                >117dB(A)
Total Harmonic Distortion(THD): <0.003%(400mV/150R)
Frequency Response:               0.5Hz to 500KHz(-3dB)
Output Power:                          >400mW(32Ω)
Output Impedance:(Zout):          <0.5Ω

Now I don't know if it is the better numbers of the iCan, but even with bass boost and 3D sound switched off completely I like it more than the headphone output from the iDac. The sound from the iDac seems a little forward to my ears, lacking a little gravitas, while iCan sounds more warm and laid back and more "in charge", I like that. Funny that seeing that the iCan seems to play well past Bat Sh..t frequencies, I'd expect it to sound bright shrill with those numbers, but it does not!?
 
Then again, several beers over 200 Quid is a fair bit of lolly - if the iCan did not have 3D sound I'd probably live with the iDac and buy more music and a few beers. It is so much better than the headphone feed from my Laptop, hard to believe. I mean the Laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad and Thinkpads already have great audio, innit?

I wish there was something like the iDac & iCan but very small, portable, for my Samsung Galaxy... I start getting peeved by the sound from it. The Parrot Zik I tried at Selfridges last week wasn't all that hot (not bad though, may have to get one anyway).

Cheerio Rich
post #37 of 63

Just finish listening to both iDAC and iCAN for the last couple of hours. Both are impressive devices.

 

Here are some first impression:

 

I can tell right away the small (normal) 3D effect on iCAN is a kind of crossfeed as it sounds pretty much like other crossfeed I have heard before. The large 3D effect is more like 3D surround sound processing similar to that of Dolby / SRS / BBE and done very well. Small bass boost can be a little too small, but large bass boost is nice and clean. Plenty of power as well, but gain might be just a little high for sensitive IEM. I can hardly pass 9 o'clock on the volume knob when feeding it a line-out level (~1.94V) signal. As for iDAC, my early impression is that it is 'ODAC + O2 roll into one device'. The build-in headphone amp section is very clean and transparent. The DAC section is of course really good as well.

 

Haven't really pair them up yet. Probably need a few more days to really get to know them.

post #38 of 63
I have an iDac on order, can someone tell me which impedance Beyerdynamic headphone would be best? 32 250 or 600 ohms
post #39 of 63

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopranino View Post

I have an iDac on order, can someone tell me which impedance Beyerdynamic headphone would be best? 32 250 or 600 ohms


I have not heard any of them.

The review linked above seems to say the 32 Ohm Beyer is a bit pants. It seems the reviewer liked the 600 Ohm version best.

If I remember my math from the poly, the 3.3V output from the iDac should give 43.56 milliwatt with the 250 Ohm version but only 18.15 milliwatt for the 600 Ohm version.

So the iDac should be over twice as loud with the 250 Ohm version than the 600 Ohm one, innit? But how loud, this I don't know...

Maybe no need to listen so loud, but better have it than not...

So as that blonde once said after looking at a lot of fellas wedding tackle, big and small and pointing at one in the middle: "this one is just right..."

Cheerio Rich

post #40 of 63

Sawdin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by sawdin View Post

Just received my iDAC today. Fred Crane of Stereodesk was nice enough to send me an iCAN to check out. Well, not sure how nice that was, as my guess is that I'll end up buying it as well. Here are a few pics. I won't be able to really listen to these units for a few days, but I'll give my impressions (FWIW, as the iDAC will be my first outboard DAC) asap. As noted on the iUSB thread, the packaging is nice and the units look very nice.  Great specs and great reviews for all of the iFi Micro products.


Hey, three weeks and not a peep? Two weeks without posts? Are you okay, hope you are well...

I'd like to know what you think of the iCan and I'm sure many would like your comments on the iDac (seems the hotter item0.

Cheers Rich

post #41 of 63

Hear, hear - AMR Ifi iCan owners, please help the rest of us out with a review. Is it a competitor for the discontinued Headamp Gilmore lite? How does it fare driving Grados?

post #42 of 63

Hi,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dibbasoat View Post

Hear, hear - AMR Ifi iCan owners, please help the rest of us out with a review. Is it a competitor for the discontinued Headamp Gilmore lite? How does it fare driving Grados?


No clue, never got me grubby mitts on one. Looks good after bingíng it, though.

 

Found a new iCAN review, but the english seems bit funny.

 

http://earmass.com/2013/02/08/ifi-audio-ican-here-come-the-new-beast/

 

Cheerio Rich

post #43 of 63

-Deleted-

post #44 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedlam inside View Post

Hi,

 


No clue, never got me grubby mitts on one. Looks good after bingíng it, though.

 

Found a new iCAN review, but the english seems bit funny.

 

http://earmass.com/2013/02/08/ifi-audio-ican-here-come-the-new-beast/

 

Cheerio Rich

Haha,the english do looks funny.

post #45 of 63

Which Grado are you using?

 

iCAN have a upfront and forward sound than the headphone amp that I am using.

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